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  4. December- Duck and sprouts

December- Duck and sprouts

Duck

Duck is a good alternative to turkey for a Christmas roast, especially if you have a smaller gathering. An average duck will serve 3 to 4 people but if you’re catering for more go for two ducks or compliment with a roast chicken or small turkey. There are also a range of recipes from cuisines all over the world using duck, from stir fry to salads and pâté to pancakes.

As waterfowl, ducks have more fat on them than turkeys and chickens and contain nearly twice the amount of fat per 100 g as roast beef but a little goes a long way. Duck also has a stronger flavour so you’ll usually eat less meat.

How to cook

  • Roast it – roast a whole duck as an alternative to the Christmas turkey. Cooking times for a whole duck are 2 ¼ hours for ducks weighing 1.75-2 kg and 2 ¾ hours for ducks weighing 2.5-3 kg
  • Grill or fry – grill or fry duck breast like you would a steak, you can leave it pink in the middle
  • Duck fat – when you roast a duck strain the fat and store when cooled in the fridge. Use the fat for roasting delicious roast potatoes and parsnips
  • Don’t waste the leftovers – shred leftover cooked duck and add to salad ingredients or use to make a quick duck and vegetable stir fry
  • Try out one of our duck recipes!

Sprouts

The classic Christmas vegetable is a member of the Brassica oleracea species of plant which also includes cabbages, cauliflower and broccoli.

Fruit and vegetables should make up around one third of what we eat each day. They are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet, as they are good sources of fibre and contain essential vitamins and minerals. Around eight sprouts count as one of your 5 a day

If you want to grow your own Brussels sprouts you should sow seeds between February and April and should be ready to harvest between September and February. Visit the Royal Horticultural Society website for more information about growing your own.

How to cook

  • Boil them – in salted water for 5-10 minutes
  • Roast them – with a drizzle of olive oil and seasoning for about 30 minutes until tender and crispy around the edges
  • Shred them – and stir fry with a little oil, chilli and garlic for something a bit different
  • Don’t waste them – fry your leftover cooked sprouts and potatoes with s knob of butter to create the perfect breakfast bubble and squeak
  • Try out one of our sprout recipes!
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